Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture (WW Norton, 2019)
“This book is both a treasure and a treat—that rare volume that is philosophically rich, politically relevant, and lyrically written.” – Eboo Patel, author of Out of Many Faiths
“A start and engaging critique of the tribal arrogance that's so common in contemporary life, by one of our leading public philosophers. Lynch has a lot of provocative ideas—about social media, the rise of Donald Trump, whether we have to listen to neo-Nazis, and much else—and his rich book is a delight to engage with.” – Paul Bloom, Yale Professor of Psychology and author of Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion
“Professor Lynch not only diagnoses the reasons for our current predicament but also suggests ways in which we can begin to challenge our tribal arrogance. Know-It-All Society is an important (and wonderfully readable) book.” – David Demonds, Host of BBC's The Big Idea
The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data (Liverite/W. W. Norton, 2016, Audio book, Penguin Random House). Kirkus starred review 2015.
With far-reaching implications, this urgent treatise promises to revolutionize our understanding of what it means to be human in the digital age.
The paradox confronting us today is that even as we know more and process information at a faster rate, we reason, think, and understand less. While a wealth of literature has been devoted to similar topics, the deep philosophical implications of this seismic shift have not been properly explored until now. Demonstrating that knowledge based on reason plays an essential role in society and that there is more to knowing than just acquiring information, leading philosopher Michael P. Lynch shows how the modern Internet has distorted not only the way we learn and communicate but also the very essence of what it means to be human. Charting a path from Plato’s cave to Shannon’s mathematical theory of information to Google Glass, Lynch builds on previous works by Nicholas Carr, James Gleick, and Jaron Lanier to give us a necessary guide for how to navigate the philosophical quagmire that is the Information Age.